Plan 2018 Marketing Strategy with a 2017 Review

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Want to reset your salon marketing routine in 2018? As 2017 comes to a close, reflect and review the previous year's marketing objectives to create a refocused marketing strategy for the next calendar year. We’ve created a list of key goals and intentions to review...

In-House Marketing Review
Marketing is vital if you want to attract new clients, increase salon profitability, and capitalize on business opportunities. It makes business sense to give marketing the importance it deserves. Take an honest assessment of your salon’s 2017 marketing endeavors. Was there an investment of time, energy or money? If the answer is no, start out by blocking out one afternoon each week devoted to salon marketing objectives, or hire a professional marketing agency to focus on promoting your salon for you.

Brand Identity Review
Is your brand identity looking a little tired? Are your business logo, fonts, colors and photography looking dated? What first impression does your salon create in the minds of your clients? What lasting impression does it make? 

To play a real role in the beauty industry, it is imperative that guests perceive your business highly. How would clients rate your salon? How do they perceive your salon brand? Do they have an opinion on the level of service provided? Will they stick with your salon? Details can make the difference between mediocrity and megastar status in the minds of your clients.

What IS a Brand? 
“Brand” is the definition of a business in shorthand, because you can’t explain the who and the what of your business to everyone (that would be exhausting!). Your brand is your beacon, it signals and calls out to your potential purchasers so they can find you. What does your brand say about you? It speaks volumes without saying a word, good or bad. In a world littered with marketing noise and branding buzzwords, distinguishing your brand from the rest of the crowd is paramount to success.

Branding is a lot like flirting. Imagine the power of a brand that can genuinely flirt and connect with people. Brand is the combination of creative communications tools that say who and what you are in a visual snapshot. These tools communicate your salon’s identity in the form of mediums such as font, color palette, pattern, images, and verbiage (voice). Branding is the creation of charm. How well is your salon brand communicated, does it leave a lasting impression on clients and guests? 

Website Review
An up-to-date, well-designed website sends out the right message about your salon, spa or beauty business. Take an objective view of your salon website. Is it looking tired and dated? As technology, design and fashion/beauty trends quickly evolve a website designed over 5 years ago is considered antiquated. Images should look contemporary, the navigation clear with easy interface, and online gift card purchasing and online booking apps make websites money makers.

If your salon’s website is in need of a makeover hire a professional agency that can customize the perfect website for your salon brand.

Marketing Materials Review
Spread all your current marketing materials on a table and take a long, hard look at them. Have lots of marketing materials to makeover? Don’t tackle them all at once, instead, pick the worst offenders and work through them one by one. Updating your brand collateral is best handled by a professional design agency so all pieces are consistent and beautiful.

Social Media Review
The New Year is a good time to re-evaluate your salon social media pages. The message is clear, many users who follow you on social media hunting for great hair salon offers and promotions. Take your social marketing to the next level by hiring a professional marketing agency with the ability to mix-up the perfect combination of posts that include special offers, beauty trends, hair trends, tips and tricks.

Evaluate the Past 12 Months
A goal without a plan is just a wish. Investing a few hours at the start of the year to write a marketing plan for your beauty salon or spa can have a huge impact on profitability for the year to come. Before looking to the future, take a look back, appraise your business achievements in order to approach the new year with fresh objectives.

Don’t be tempted to skip the evaluation step, taking the time for analysis allows for more-informed planning. At the end of this evaluation you should have a greater understanding of your business objectives and opportunities. 

Your Salon Numbers
> Did your business meet its financial goals last year?
> Did most of your revenue come from existing salon clients or from new ones?
> What percentage of clients only visited once, never to return?
> Which are your most profitable salon services?
> When did you last increase your prices? 

Your Salon Promotions
> What salon promotional activities did you do? 
> What worked? 
> What didn’t? 
> Why not?

Your Salon Website
> Is your salon website mobile friendly?
> How does your site compare to local competitors’? 
> Has the site design or images become dated?
> Is site copy easy to ready and professionally written?
> Are you ranking high on Google so new clients can find you?

Your Salon Marketing Channels
When you deliver your marketing message using a variety of marketing channels you increase the likelihood of reaching your target audience. Repetition works. 
> What marketing channels are you utilizing?
> In-Salon Signage?
> Website?
> Email Marketing?
> Social Media?
> Advertising?
> Marketing Materials?
> New Client Recruitment?
> Loyalty or Reward Programs?
> Contests?

Your Salon Database
> Have you grown your email database over the last 12 months? 
> What incentives have you given guests to sign up?
Don’t forget email contacts are one of your most valuable marketing assets. 

Your Salon New Guest, Loyalty & Reward Program/s
> Do you have salon marketing systems in place for retaining new guests? 
> Are new clients documented and followed up by your team? 
> Have you set up a loyalty or reward program?

Your Salon Competition
Analyze your top 3 competitors.
Review their salon website, their social media, read their online reviews. 
> How do they compare to your hair or beauty business?

Your Salon Guest Services
> How do your guest services compare to your competitions? 
> What is the quality of your recruitment and training you provide your team?
> What do your clients think of your guest services and salon services? 
> Take a look at look at complaints and feedback. 

Your Salon Brand
> What message does the appearance of your salon send out?
> Review your salon marketing materials (salon brochures, salon graphics, price and treatment guides, sidewalk signage, etc.). Are they on-brand and great selling tools or in need of a major refresh?

What about your own marketing skills? Are you up to the task? Make marketing a business priority this year, invest in professional marketing services.

Black Friday Gift Card Strategy - Get in the Black!

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Black Friday is the official kick-off to the holiday season. Many salons tend to ignore gift cards, regarding them as rather impersonal, but in truth gift cards give salons the opportunity to solve holiday gift giving. When promoted properly gift cards make an indulgent gift and a fabulous source of holiday cash flow. To boost salon profits this holiday, start planning your gift card promotion launch for Black Friday now! 

1. Gift card packaging helps sell gift cards - make sure your salon gift card is attractive.

Everyone likes a gift card, but sometimes it’s hard to make it look like a thoughtful and clever present. It’s a Christmas gift card, not a discount coupon. At the very least you need an attractive gift card presentation. This should reflect your salon brand, be contemporary and high quality. For larger gift card purchases a bespoke branded box is more fitting. On Christmas morning it is much more exciting to discover a gift card nestling inside a pretty box then just a dreary certificate printed on cheap paper. 

So many hair and beauty salons present cheap-looking gift cards which proudly boast $75 on them. If a guest is spending $75 + on a present - it needs to look and feel special!

2. Strong campaign offer.
The first step to a strong campaign is the right message, the right offers, and the right design to help promote gift card sales in the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas Day. Promotes deals that are a low cost to your business but provide added value to the purchaser. 
A “Buy One, Get One Free” gift card special is the perfect solution for easy holiday gift-giving:
Spend $100 receive $25 gift card good for salon services (give or keep for yourself).
Spend $150 receive $50 gift card good for salon services (give or keep for yourself).
Spend $200 receive $75 gift card good for salon services (give or keep for yourself).
Spend $250 receive $100 gift card good for salon services (give or keep for yourself).

3.  Create gift card packages.
In addition to offering gift cards for dollar amounts, consider putting together some packages. When people receive a gift certificate for a dollar amount, they tend to use it to purchase services they are already receiving at the salon. It is more profitable to sell “luxury service” packages. Luxuries are the perfect gift. Packages are also a great opportunity to sell combinations of services, and get guests to try services they may have otherwise never tried.

Create packages at several price points and get creative. Don’t be afraid to offer high priced items like “A Year of Hair Color” or “A Massage of the Month”. Gift givers can be very generous if the gift is right. Encourage higher gift card sales by combining 3 or 4 services into a "beauty day" specially priced at 25% off for a limited time. Pull together hair and skin packages that engage your guests with fun names, pretty packaging, and wonderful bows. 

4. Tell your clients! 
Create in-salon signage to let your clients know what gift packages are available. Give the cards high visibility in your salon, many hair and beauty businesses mistakenly hide gift cards away and miss many opportunities. Create attractive in-salon displays with a promotional graphic and promotion. Custom signage helps you sell even more. Spread the gift card idea through social media postings too. 

5. Dedicate a specific page for gift cards on your salon website. 
Include how/where to buy, the denominations available and any terms and conditions. Make sure you highlight them on the Home Page too.

6. Gift card email campaign.
The easiest gift to give? Salon gift cards. Be sure to include gift cards in your e-mail marketing campaigns commencing on Black Friday and continuing right up through to Christmas. Send out an e-newsletter reminding clients that the holidays are on their way.
Run your campaign like this:
Email 1: Black Friday: Initial Offer
Email 2: December 10: Offer reminder

7. Last minute option.
Promote your salon or spa’s holiday gift cards as perfect “last minute” gift options. Gift cards can be a big money making opportunity for salons if panicked gift givers, who didn’t plan ahead, can step-in or access your salon’s website and purchase a thoughtful gift at the last minute. Remind your guests about the convenience and last minute opportunities of salon or spa gift card giving.
Run your campaign like this:
Email 3: December 21: Only 3 Days left!
Email 4: December 23: Last 24 Hours!

8. Make it easy for clients to buy.
Make it easy for clients to buy! Instant purchase applications help you work smarter, not harder and can add thousands of dollars to your bottom line. Online commerce should be easy and all salons and spas should maximize the power of the web. You too can sell gift cards online by providing a stand alone, turn-key, secure, and full featured gift certificate shopping cart system branded with your company's logo. It is easily added to your existing website with a simple link or buy now button.

9. Gift card guest = potential loyal client.
Gift card promotions provide the opportunity to turn a “gift card guest” into a repeat and loyal client. A solid first impression with their Holiday Gift Package experience will make them more likely to return. There are 3 other ways to turn holiday guests into loyal clients. First, ask each guest to fill out a client card to allow future correspondence. Second, treat each “gift card” guest like a VIP. Third, re-book client for a follow-up service at end of experience. Each gift card client can turn into a $2000 annual revenue guest.  

10. Hire professional concept & design services.
To appeal to the right market all promotional materials must be professionally written and designed. From the actual marketing concept, to copywriting, to imagery, a marketing professional is well trained and experienced in the field of marketing. Leave the job of marketing to the experts. Get in the black with a Black Friday gift card strategy!

11. Get BeautyMark's Good as Gold pre-made campaign.
Did Black Friday "arrive" before you had a chance to put together a gift card promotion? Let BeautyMark Marketing come to your rescue with our Good As Gold pre-made marketing campaign. We offer stylish, professionally crafted, agency-quality marketing at a small-business price. Click here for more information on our pre-made campaigns.